What Happens When You Get a DUI
Western nations in the world, like Canada, fight an uphill battle in terms of applying the rule of law. An exacting balance is sought between allowing for individual freedom and protecting people by prescribing certain things in society. For instance, one will always have the freedom to carry a knife, or a stick, yet one obviously does not have the freedom to harm someone else with those items. It goes without saying, but it’s the basic understanding of western law. The same holds true with alcohol and certain drugs. Canadians have a right to consume them, but no right to endanger other citizens with them; hence laws for DUI, or “Driving under the influence.”
The nation gives out tens of thousands of DUI indictments every year, equivalent to a “felony” in the states. While a few of these are for prescription drug impairment and illegal drug consumption, the vast majority of these charges are due to consuming alcohol over the legal limit of 0.05 grams per 100ml of blood. Police officers issue a series of tests when pulled over on reasonable suspicion. If those tests fail, or if the officer’s opinion is that the driver has been drinking, a DUI arrest is likely.
Though what happens after that initial arrest? Is it time to get a DUI lawyer? Let’s find out more about the process and learn about the aftermath of the arrest.
These Are the Things You Can Expect with a DUI Arrest
Unfortunately, for those arrested for a DUI, they’re going to be spending at least one night in jail the vast majority of the time. Even though most people charged with a DUI will be released by the magistrate (a provincial judge, so to speak) on their own recognizance or with little bond, the fact is that those arrested for a DUI are suspected to be intoxicated, and the police will not release an intoxicated person back into the public. So those people arrested for a DUI should mentally prepare themselves for some time in a local jail. You will not be shipped off to some prison or placed in solitary confinement. Most local jails, and even some local precincts, have what is colloquially called “drunk tanks,” where those arrested will stay until which point they meet with a court official about their release.
Loss of License (Physical)
You may not lose your license permanently as a result of a DUI, especially if you get a good DUI lawyer on your case. In fact, you may even beat the charge. But the police are not simply going to hand your license back to you and allow you to drive home. To them, you are already guilty, at least of driving under the influence and being under the influence, so the license will be held by them. Speak with a lawyer about steps you can take to go to the DMV and get a new license so that you can still drive during this process. Just prepare yourself for this step.
The vast majority of a time an arrest happens, a charge will be formally filed, usually in the form of an indictment, which means that, at some point, after initially released from jail, you will be served formal papers ordering you to appear in court. At this point, you should already have a DUI attorney working for you who’s qualified and knows the law. It’s unlikely that they will arrest you again, but you will have to appear back in court to begin the criminal proceedings once a formal indictment is filed.
Court Date Set
As mentioned above, a court date will be set. Generally speaking, this court date is just an initial formal reading of your charges, after which the defendant secures a lawyer, and mounts some sort of legal defence before returning to court to deal with the actual criminal proceedings.
Up to You
How the rest plays out is really up to you and whether or not you have received adequate counsel through a qualified DUI attorney.
So don’t forget that you need someone skilled and qualified fighting for you in our corner. It’s a charge you can beat or at least mitigate, but only with the right lawyer.
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